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It doesn’t look like face masks are going anywhere soon. With reports of the delta variant spreading, we are finding that even vaccinated people can spread COVID-19, which has prompted the Center for Disease Control to recommend that every student in K-12 schools wear a mask.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends anyone over the age of 2 years old wear masks indoors or on public transportation. Face coverings are not recommended for children under the age of 2, due to suffocation risks.
While masks seem to be here to stay—at least for the time being—some kids are reluctant to mask up. We are here to help. Here are some of our favorite face masks to help you convince even the most reluctant child to give wearing one a shot. We looked for fit, durability, comfort, and—of course—cuteness.
Disclaimer: While not as effective as a medical-grade mask or an N95 mask, these coverings provide an extra layer of protection by blocking respiratory droplets—the primary means through which COVID-19 is transmitted.
1. Disney: Pixar, Star Wars, and Classic Disney 4-packs
Good for ages: 3 and up Protection level: Non-medical grade, no filter pocket Type of mask: Elastic ear loops These masks ranked best out of all the kids masks we tested. There is nothing fancy about these masks, and nothing to ensure a customized fit but, when your kid is walking around looking like Baby Yoda, you won’t be disappointed that you dropped $20 for a four-pack of pop culture gold and you’ll be rewarded with some serious buy-in from even the most reluctant mask-wearer.
Good for ages: 3 and up Protection level: Non-medical grade with a pocket for a filter Type of mask: Adjustable ear loops, nose wire, 3-dimensional chin structure Ranked as the best-fitting kids’ mask we’ve tried, Vistaprint makes masks that are well-made and durable, yet light as a feather and surprisingly breathable. These masks are made from a wicking fabric that helps keep kids comfortable all day long. Their adjustable lanyard ear loops, adjustable nose wire, and 3-dimensional chin structure make these incredibly comfortable and make them work for any face shape. A wide selection of prints, colors, and patterns ensures you’ll find something your child will love wearing.
3. Happy Masks
Good for ages: 3 and up Protection level: Nelson-lab certified filtration system Type of mask: Adjustable ear straps, nose wire, 3-dimensional design There is some serious science behind Happy Masks. A one-of-a-kind patented design, this is the mask you want when flu season comes around again. Designed by a retired chief scientist with a PhD in filtration, Happy Masks has created a nanofiber membrane filter that is guaranteed to filter over 99% of nanoparticles. There’s a whole lot of science that you can learn about when you visit the site, but what your kids will like is the innovative 3-D design that gives space for kids to breathe without feeling claustrophobic and talk, without feeling inhibited—all without compromising protection. These are a particularly good choice for kiddos with sensory issues that are exacerbated by mask-wearing.
4. Enro kids masks
Good for ages: 3 and up Protection level: Non-medical grade internal filtration system Type of mask: The machine-washable filter is really what sets this mask apart. These lightweight and breathable mask have three layers: a water-repellent outer layer, a soft and breathable 100% cotton inner layer, and a washable filtration layer sandwiched between the two. Adjustable nose wires and ear loops, combined with a 3-dimensional structure adds to the comfort of these masks.
Good for ages: 3 to 12 Protection level: Non-medical grade, 99% 99% particle (PFE) and bacterial (BFE) filtration, water resistant Type of mask: Adjustable ear loops, adjustable nose wire
A highly protective kids' mask, these claim to filter out more than 99% particle (PFE) and bacterial (BFE) filtration—plus, their water-resistant design also provides fluid resistance. Sized to be just-right for a child's smaller face, they also feature a unique ergo-foam nose seal that gives a tight but comfortable fit across a child's nose. These masks can be reused for up to 40 hours of use—just pop them in the gentle wash cycle and they are good to go.
6. Crayola Kids
Good for ages: 3 to 12 Protection level: Non-medical grade, no filter pocket Type of mask: 3D face design, adjustable ear straps, nose clip One mask for every day of the week! These fun, color-coded, and wildly popular masks get rave reviews for their adjustable fit that are just right for a kids' face. They are machine-washable and feature a dual-layer 3D fabric design. They even come with name tags, to help keep track of whose face mask is whose, and a mesh laundry bag for washing. We also like that you can buy matching hand sanitizers to complete the look.
6. All in Motion
Good for ages: 3 and up Protection level: Non-medical grade, no filter pocket Type of mask: Polyester with mesh lining and elastic ear loops Cute colors, quality, and comfort make these masks winners with kids. Made from a recycled polyester blend, these masks are touted by reviewers as being lightweight, breathable, and they somehow fit a perfect balance of being snug but stretchy. The mesh lining prevents this mask from feeling too hot between breaths, and the adjustable ear loops help make for a perfect fit.
Good for ages: 3 and up Protection level: Non-medical grade, no filter pocket Type of mask: The adult-version of this mask is our absolute favorite. Luckily, it also comes in kids’ sizes, so the whole family can enjoy the super soft, triple-layer protection of this mask. Our reviewer and textile expert loves Athleta masks for their breathability, especially in hot and humid temperatures, so this mask is a win for hotter climates and the start of the school year. These masks are made for the Athleta Girl line, but they variation of prints and colors make them good for any kid—no matter what their style.
8. Old Navy
Good for ages: 3 and up Protection level: Non-medical grade, no filter pocket Type of mask: The accordion structure of these affordable masks, combined with their adjustable ear loops, make it easy to get a comfortable fit for any face shape without constricted breathing. These are machine-washable and come in a fun array of ever-changing kid-friendly colors and prints.
9. AireTrust Nano Masks
Good for ages: 3 and up Protection level: Non-medical grade, KN95 Type of mask: While you should be wary of KN95 masks made outside of the United States, these are developed in Sunnyvale, California at a company founded by former U.S. Secretary of Energy and Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Steven Chu, so we feel pretty confident in placing our trust in the products they develop.
These disposable masks are just the right size for kids. Their paper thin construction is made using patented, Stanford University-developed, nanotechnology, which offers filtration of microscopic airborne particles and super fine PM2.5 hazards.
11. Sock Fancy
Good for ages: 7 and up Protection level: Non-medical grade, no filter pocket Type of mask:Adjustable ear loops, nose wire, 3-dimensional chin structure These triple-layer masks check all the boxes for comfort and a great fit, including adjustable ear loops, a nose wire for fit, and a 3-D chin for added coverage. These masks are constructed with the highest quality machine-washable combed cotton for comfort, breathability, and for ease of washing. We love that they start with a particle-resistant outer layer and have an ultra soft and breathable inner layer.
12. Rafi Nova: Kids' Performance face mask
Good for ages: 3 and up Protection level: Non-medical grade with a pocket for a filter Type of mask: Soft elastic ear loops, adjustable nose So soft and comfortable, these masks are imported from the husband-and-wife team's second home in Vietnam. With three layers of protection, your kids will have an excellent barrier against airborne viruses. Designed for versatility, breathability, performance, and all day comfort, they have a super-soft inner liner that kids will love.
13. The ODells: Cotton-blend kids' face mask
Good for ages: 3 and up Protection level: Non-medical grade with a pocket for a filter Type of mask: Adjustable ear straps A true mom-and-pop shop in every sense of the term, this husband-and-wife team make masks for the whole family out of remainders from their clothing design business. You can tell that they are parents because these folks know how to keep kids comfortable—every detail of these simple cotton masks seem to have a kid’s comfort in mind. Lined with soft T-shirt material, these masks never seem to overheat, and their adjustable ear straps never pull or put pressure on little ears. Because these are sustainably made with leftover textiles, you can’t choose your patterns, but they do allow for requests and will try to craft a mask your child will love.
Good for ages: 3 and up Protection level: Non-medical grade, no filter pocket Type of mask: The fold-out construction of this mask help elevate it off of your child’s face, making for a comfortable fit for the face mask-averse. Made from 100% organic quilter’s cotton, Baggu claims that the tight weave and thick thread of the fabric used to make these double layer masks make for a more effective barrier against respiratory droplets than other cloth masks. These also have adjustable nose wires and ear loops, for a snug fit.
15. United by Blue
Good for ages: 8 and up Protection level: Non-medical grade with pocket for filter Type of mask: Stretchy ear bands Two layers of a cotton, hemp, and recycled polyester blend make for a comfortable, breathable fit in this 3-pack. These stylishly understated masks are great for older kids, who may also like them for their commitment to social justice—including a mask donation program and the company’s commitment to remove 1 pound of trash from a body of water for every product sold. These double-layer masks have a sleeve for a filter and have been crafted to CDC specifications.
16. La Textilerie
Good for ages: 4 to 12 Protection level: Non-medical grade, no filter pocket Type of mask: Stretchy ear bands An antibacterial, antiviral, and water resistant design help make these affordable masks protective. Kids, however, will be more interested in the fun designs like airplanes, rocket ships, bunnies, and mermaids
Good for ages: 2 to 8 Protection level: Non-medical grade with a pocket for a filter Type of mask: Stretchy ear bands A great price for a lot of functions in this three-pack of adorable, snuggly-looking, and kid-friendly masks that double as cuddly toys. We like that this design has an adjustable nose wire for a snug fit. There is also a filter pocket and two layers of fabric for extra protection. Buy the Cubcoats 3-pack cotton face masks Maskbuddy set at Amazon for $19.99
18. Mochi Kids: Happy kids mask
Good for ages: 3 and up Protection level: Non-medical grade, no filter pocket Type of mask: Stretchy ear bands Perfect for spreading a bit of joy, these super-soft, double-layer masks with a filtration pocket are sure to put the smile on the faces of anyone who wears them.
19. Onzie: Mindful masks
Good for ages: 5 to 10 Protection level: Non-medical grade, no filter pocket Type of mask: Elastic ear loops Onzie is upcycling remnants of their full-flex spandex yoga gear to make reusable face masks for kids ages 5- to 10-years-old. These masks can be used on their own or as a cover for an N95 or filtered mask. These multi-layer masks are not only comfortable and breathable, but also quick-drying. The kids’ masks come in an array of funky prints, like cheetah, camo, and floral. Each order is a surprise selection of two masks for $10, hand-picked by the manufacturer..
20. UncommonGoods: Children's Rainbow Face Coverings
Good for ages: 4 to 10 Protection level: Non-medical grade, no filter pocket Type of mask: Pleated with elastic ear loops Designed by kids, for kids, and for the greater good. Kids around the world have been painting rainbows and hanging them in their windows to spread cheer through the COVID-19 pandemic. UncommonGoods has taken some of those uplifting drawings to make masks that spread some joy while also doing some good. These pleated masks are made from two layers of tightly woven cotton and each has a little label with a big, positive message, like “lift others up” and “keep smiling.”
Bonus for buying: 100% of profits from sales of these designed-by-kids masks go to NYC's public hospitals.
21. Los Angeles Apparel: 3-pack cotton kids masks
Good for ages: 6 and up Protection level: Non-medical grade, no filter pocket Type of mask: Around the head elastic, adjustable nose wire These three-packs of colorful masks with contrasting trim are made of 100% cotton and feature an adjustable nose wire for a customized fit. This two-strap mask wraps around the head and neck and can be adjusted with a lanyard for a perfect fit. These masks are made of a thick French terry fabric, making these the kind of masks that can withstand numerous hot water washings.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.